History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

John M. Shute's 1855 Arrival and Family Lineage

John's Mother Frances
Blakeney (1800-1874)
See family lineage below. 
“J.Ray” Shute II (1904-1988)
In 1855, John M. Shute, on the way to Mississippi, stopped the family wagons at the Monroe camp for the night. Persuaded by a few citizens, Shute was able to see the opportunities in making Monroe a home for his family. His decision would prove to significantly impact the development of the small but growing town.

In a 1982 interview by Wayne Durrill, John Raymond “J.Ray” Shute (1904-1988) verbalized some of this early history:

“John Shute was born in Lancaster County, South Carolina, in 1824. Together with his family, which at that time was three children, Mary, Henry and Raymond, and his brother Sylvester and his wife, he had started to Mississippi. The first day they traveled eighteen miles—that's the distance from their home which was in Tabernacle community of Lancaster County—to Monroe. Monroe was just a young town at that time, only eleven years since it had been chartered. Like all other towns of the period they had a camp lot, and travelers, which, of course, was by buggy or wagon, always went to the town's camp lot to unhitch and feed and spent the night. And everybody in town always went to the camp lot to see new strangers. That's the way they got information about other parts of the country. Well, they came to the camp lot in Monroe, which was located at what is now the corner of Church and Franklin Streets in Monroe, and unhitched and set up for the night. It was pouring down rain, and the people in town, the leading citizens, came to the camp lot to see who they were and to meet them and talk with them.

“Among those who came was the largest merchant in Monroe at that time, John D. Stewart, who later was to become a very dear friend of my grandfather, John Shute. Dr. Welch was another one who came. I mention him for this reason: his son, the late John Welch, told me about his father telling him about going down to the camp lot and meeting the Shutes when they came in. He said Mrs. Shute had a young baby just a few months old in her arms, and he told her, ‘Mrs. Shute, turn that baby over on its belly. You're going to drown it if you don't.’ It was pouring down rain. That was my father, the baby.

“John D. Stewart told my grandfather, ‘There's no use to go to Mississippi for the future; there's a future right here in Monroe. We need very much a wagon train to take our cotton that we raise through this section to Camden and Cheraw,’ which were the final ports on the river system. At Cheraw, of course, it was the Pee Dee River that went into Winyar Bay at Georgetown, and at Camden it was, of course, the Catawba-Wateree system that went into Charleston. And he told him, ‘We need to get our cotton to market, and that's the best way and the most economical way.’ They had barges that came up to these ports from those lower ports, and he said, ‘We ship our cotton mostly to New England to the mills. Some of it goes to old England, and then we need to have supplies that are brought in by ship to Charleston and Georgetown, mostly Charleston, brought up to our stores in Monroe and Charlotte. There's a wonderful opportunity here for somebody to get into this.’ It appealed to my grandfather very much, and he decided he'd stay.

“His brother Sylvester went on to Mississippi after a sojourn of two years in Alabama. His wife had a child. She couldn't reach Mississippi before the first child was born. It was born in Alabama, and then about a year later the second child came. Sylvester had gotten a position as an overseer on a plantation there. So they stayed there for over a year in Alabama before they went on to Carroll County, Mississippi, where, when he died, he was the largest landowner in the county. Those were the delta lands where they raised three bales of cotton to the acre.

“My grandfather John Shute in 1855 bought a homesite on the corner of Windsor and Hayne Streets and built a home which still stands. The first home was a modest home, and later he built a large home in front of it and joined it. That was along about 1875. He bought this lot from Doctor Franklin Hayden. He was not a doctor; that was his real name. Incidentally, one of the Shute boys was named ‘Doctor’ as one of his given names. That was Doctor James Shute at Tabernacle. It was not unusual to name children ‘Doctor.’ It might have given them a false prestige in later life. Hayden moved to Monroe from Salisbury along about 1840 before the city was actually laid out and chartered, and he sold this lot to my grandfather. He also sold him a tract of land on… Well, of course, all deeds said on the waters of Richardson Creek or Bearskin Creek; they may have been miles away from the creek. He sold him two other pieces of property, one of which was commercial where my grandfather opened a store, and the other one was a farm.

“The family prospered. John Shute was a very energetic man, and he started his wagon trains, which were very successful. And he was the kind of man that when he saw an opportunity, he'd go into it. Every time he would get a few hundred dollars ahead, he'd buy a piece of property. He very seldom ever sold any property, but he bought a lot. He wouldn't build a one-story building. He said the most expensive part of a building was the roof. And the roof didn't cost any more for a two- or three-storey building than it did for a one-storey building, so he very seldom ever built a one-story building. But he began to build property, was the largest commercial property owner in town at the time he died. He went into several things. He had a carding mill that carded wool. He went into the cotton ginning business. He opened the first steam-powered cotton gin. I have the governors off that old original gin up at my house, just saving them, you know. The gin burned down. He had more than one gin, incidentally. And then he opened a brickyard and made brick. He opened a turning mill, a woodworking plant where they made doors and windows and sashes and blinds and baluster rails and cabinets and just all sorts of things, so that actually, as he began to acquire property—and it was cheap then—he had all of the facilities for building. He could build more economically than anyone else. Then he opened a wholesale and retail grocery store, and that became very profitable. He put my father in there when he was fourteen years old, and he stayed there nearly fifty years.

“My grandfather died in 1896. He was seventy-two years old. He died with what they called cramp colic. Today we'd call it a ruptured appendix. My father said he never saw a man suffer as much as his father did on his deathbed. He said all they could do was to keep a quart of whiskey by his bed to try to keep him intoxicated so he could stand the pain. Well, those are the early, early years of my grandfather. The railroad came to Monroe in 1874, and that put him out of business. So it's easy to understand why he opposed the coming of the railroad.”

Also on this site:
Growing Up in Monroe
Shute on Cotton

Shute Lineage:

Henry Shute Sr. was born, possibly in Germany, about 1766. He first married Mary (unknown) and secondly married Elizabeth Rape (1770-1850). Henry and Elizabeth had a son, Henry Jr., and a daughter. Henry died prior to 1819.

Henry Shute Jr. ((1791-1854) married Frances “Franky” Blakeney (1800-1874). “Franky” Blakeney was born in Chesterfield, SC, the daughter of John W. Blakeney Jr. (1758-1848) and Nancy May (1769-1815).

John M. Shute (1824-1896), son of Henry Shute Jr., was born in Lancaster, South Carolina on May 30, 1824.

John’s siblings were: Elizabeth (1819-1896), Henry Blakeney (1820-1845), Jane 1822-1916), Howell H. (1826-1919), Sylvester Wesley (1828-1892), Nancy (1831-1892), Caroline (1833-1927), Elihu Eli (1836-1878), Meletha Ellender “Ellen” (1839-1933), Francis Marion (1842-1888) and James D. (1845-1915).

John M. Shute married Malissa Emaline Funderburk (1834-1896) on May 23, 1850 in Lancaster. She was the daughter of Abel Laney Funderburk (1808-1872) and Mary Laney (1809-1835). Abel Funderburk was the great grandson of Johann Michael Von Der Burg (1675-1718) and Princess Von Der Berg, married in Rhineland-Palatinate, Rhineland-Pfaltz, Germany.

Children of John and Malissa Shute—eight of eleven were born in the early town of Monroe: Henry Abel (1851-1921), Mary Frances (1852-1906) married John Wilson Austin, John Raymond (1855-1945) married Mary Christopher Summersett, James Thomas (1857-1935) married Carrie White Howie, Amanda Elizabeth (1859-1947) married Joel Thomas Brewer, Ellie Jesamine (1863-1923) married Gaston Hall Wilson, Samuel Richard (1866-1902), Emma Lee (1868-1931), Florence May (1871-1973) married Benjamin Franklin Houston, Danny (1873-1874) and Eva Burke (1875-1906) married E. Coke Ingram.

John Raymond Shute I (1855-1945) married Mary Christopher Summersett.

John Raymond Shute II (1904-1988), son of John Raymond Shute I and Mary C. Summersett, married Sara Catherine Mason (1904-1999).

John Raymond Shute III (1926-1947) died in an airplane crash near Waxhaw.

In the interview conducted by Wayne Durrill, his father related, “…We opened that airport in '46 on a ten-year lease with a ten-year option, which we exercised, and we built the buildings out there, too. That was located where the Monroe Mall now is, that property in there around Dickerson Boulevard. It was a very fine operation. My oldest son was killed flying out of that airport. He was a licensed pilot, and he was studying for his commercial pilot's license when something went wrong with his plane. I had bought him a plane from the Royal Canadian Air Force. As a matter of fact, we bought three of them and sent up pilots who flew them back down here and sent them through our repair depot and had them licensed in America. They were excellent planes, and I had one of those for him when he came out of the Air Force, not as a pilot but as a tail-gunner. He was in the Far East in the Air Force and didn't get a scratch until he got back, and he was killed shortly after he got back.”

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